Musical Reform - The Role of Catholic Universities
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    What role should Catholic universities play in promoting sacred music reform?

    Obviously, they play a crucial role in vocal, organ, and compositional training. Such programs represent a discussion topic all their own; what I'm interested in are the other things a Catholic university can do to promote reforms. Opening workshops to the public, setting up student scholae which can then work in local schools, establishing campus Masses that help define "New" in a good way, etc.
  • Though I would like to see informed leadership coming from Catholic universities, please keep in mind that most of the better musicians working in parishes today received their training at secular institutions. To some extent this phenomenon extends even to theological and biblical scholarship. As an example, for the past quarter century the student body at the Harvard Divinity School has had a greater Roman Catholic representation than any other group. Do you think scholarship requiring a strong grasp of Latin, for example, will automatically be superior at a Catholic college? I generalize of course, but there's enough here for debate.
  • Maureen
    Posts: 652
    The advantage of a Catholic university is that, theoretically, you can do a lot more to provide a living Catholic atmosphere: Masses, Liturgy of the Hours, etc.

    However, at secular universities, there normally should be a good amount of sacred music stuff going on, just out of academic interest. But university parishes and Newman clubs, etc. could be a good base for sacred music learning also. (And that could help evangelize non-Catholics as well as Catholics.)

    One thing that would be very helpful: explanations to bridge the gap for Catholic music students between what they study in music history class about chant, and what they see at Mass. I found it VERY confusing to have to learn all these Mass parts and terminology that I couldn't place in the Mass I knew, and having a non-Catholic teacher meant there wasn't anybody to ask. Greater familiarity with the EF among the general Catholic public will help, of course, but there's still a lot to get confused about.